Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew18 mins ago
The unpredictable nature of baseball's offseason struck again on Wednesday, resulting in what would best be described as an awkward tweet from veteran catcher Rene Rivera.
Like any good teammate, Rivera went out of his way to welcome free-agent pitcher Brandon Morrow to the San Diego Padres after he inked a deal with team on Tuesday .
The awkward part? Just as Rivera was welcoming his new teammate to town, he became a new teammate himself. New Padres general manager A.J. Preller continued his aggressive offseason, shipping Rene Rivera to the Tampa Bay Rays as a part of the three-team, 11-player deal that included the Washington Nationals and was highlighted by Wil Myers going to the Padres.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
For the first time in a long time, the San Diego Padres resemble an organization with a sense of urgency.
On Wednesday, new general manager A.J. Preller agreed to his second blockbuster trade in eight days, acquiring 2013 AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team, 11-player trade that also includes the Washington Nationals. At last week's Winter Meetings, he agreed to a major trade with the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers, acquiring outfielder Matt Kemp and catcher Tim Federowicz in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal and a pair of pitching prospects.
Both deals are pending physicals and perhaps other seemingly minor hangups, but once completed would immediately give San Diego two middle-of-the-order bats with which to rebuild their 30th ranked offense around.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
In baseball, more so than any other major pro sport, trades are a long game. While we certainly break down winners and losers right away when a big trade happens, it usually takes years before we learn who's actually the winner and who's actually the loser.
No trade chip proves this better than Wil Myers, the uber-prospectwho was traded from the Royals on Dec. 10, 2012, to the Tampa Bay Rays, then traded again Wednesday to the San Diego Padres in an 11-player blockbuster deal.
When the Royals traded Myers to the Rays, they were crucified. Top prospects like Myers didn't just get traded like that, even if James Shields and Wade Davis were the return. And small-market, cash-strapped clubs like the Royals certainly don't trade their top prospects.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
What a world we live in. Edinson Volquez, who was released by the San Diego Padres 16 months ago, and then had a decent bounce-back season in Pittsburgh in 2014, is set to make $20 million over the next two seasons.
The Kansas City Royals have reportedly signed Volquez, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, sticking him in their starting rotation along with Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie.
Aside from two possible imports — Chihiro Kaneko and Kenta Maeda — and one possible retiree in Hiroki Kuroda, Volquez was the best starting pitcher available on Jeff Passan's Ultimate Free-Agent tracker.
Volquez, 31, won't be James Shields, that's for sure. He may not even be the 2014 version of himself. With the Pirates, Volquez rebounded from a dreadful 2013 (hello, 5.71 ERA!) and managed a 13-7 record with a 3.04 ERA. He hadn't had an ERA under 4.00 since his rookie season in 2008.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The Boston Red Sox are OK with players having gluten in their diets, right? Because starting pitcher Wade Miley, who they acquired last week in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, says he clashed with the D-backs about his diet.
Specifically about not being gluten-free.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic talked to Miley about the trade out of Arizona. Miley compared leaving the D-backs to a break-up. Those often come with after-the-fact complaints. Here's the one that's leaked out about Miley: The D-backs weren't happy with his diet.
Miley seemed reluctant to bad-mouth the D-backs' staff, but he did admit the complaints about his diet angered him, then he further explained his clash with the club.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
The San Francisco Giants haven't done much this offseason beyond getting sized for their World Series rings. They earned the bronze medal in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. They haven't addressed their need in left field. They watched Pablo Sandoval leave for Boston, leaving another hole at third base.
At the very least, the Giants aren't letting another fan favorite leave.
The Giants have reportedly re-signed relief pitcher Sergio Romo, their former closer, to a two-year, $15 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. It's pending a physical. It's not an earth-shattering move, but for antsy Giants fans who are watching plenty of moves happen around them, it's something.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
"So I have a splendid idea. Do you remember how great Josh Hamilton was in a Rangers uniform? I heard y'all down there in Texas are interested in trading for an outfielder. Well, I got just the guy — Josh Hamilton. And he's still playing baseball, so it seems like an ideal fit. Whaddya say? We'll throw in a pair of Mike Trout's cleats!"
We imagine the Los Angeles Angels calling the Texas Rangers, asking if they'd like to get Josh Hamilton back in a trade, sounded something like that. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports
The Rangers' response probably went something like this:
"Sorry, we've got our share of overpaid injured dudes down here in Texas. But we'll be sure to laugh about this later."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Baseball's Hot Stove has been swirling with rumors the past 24 hours — juicy rumors too. Wil Myers is possibly getting traded in a three-team deal. Matt Kemp might have failed his physical with the Padres, and that's why the trade hasn't been completed yet. The Mariners were close to trading for another outfield bat.
Nothing's come to fruition yet on the first two. But the last one, well, that happened but the hype didn't match the outcome. It's a lesson in how wild our imaginations get this time of year.
The Mariners on Wednesday acquired platoon outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs, in a mostly ho-hum deal that's not going to make the Hot Stove burst into flames. Ruggiano is a nice enough player — he should help the Mariners against lefty pitchers — but he's not what people were hoping for when the rumor mill starting spinning.
It started with this tweet from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, totally innocent, but a jolt that awoke our imaginations.
Hearing rumblings that the #mariners are closing in on a trade for a hitter.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The feel-good story about Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team is a sham, says a rival Little League coach, who is alleging the team recruited ringers from outside its boundaries to advance to the Little League World Series and win the U.S. championship. But so far, Little League International doesn't agree.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Miami Marlins gave Giancarlo Stanton the richest contract in MLB history, and that was only the start of their offseason maneuvering.
They've traded for Dee Gordon and Mat Latos, two players who immediately make them better, and Tuesday the Marlins reportedly signed slugger Michael Morse to a two-year contract.
Morse is expected to play first base for the Marlins, adding another power bat to a lineup that's already centered around Stanton. Word hasn't trickled out yet about how much Morse will make for his two seasons. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was the first to report the signing.